it.can presentation on open source

I gave a speech, along with Thomas Prowse (Genband) and Fred Dixon (Blindside Networks) at the IT.Can Annual Conference (PDF) in Montreal last week. The following is the paper that went along with the presentation, for whatever it’s worth. Not particularly earth-shattering but an approach that is a little different than user/purchaser centric approach I usually see about the topic in other papers and presentations, at least within the realm of those addressed to lawyers. Also in Word format: IT.Can 2010 open source (paper) v2.

Many other great presentations as well, by some of the leading IT practitioners in Canada. Not a member? Consider joining. Well worth it.


by David Ma[1]

1.                  INTRODUCTION

This paper will: (a) review some of the more common business models used to exploit intellectual property; (b) describe, in brief, what open source is; and (c) identify characteristics of open source licenses as they pertain to those business models.

It is oriented primarily to owners or developers of intellectual property that are contemplating the alternatives available to them in the commercial exploitation of that IP. The general context on which this paper focuses is the development and exploitation of software. However, some or all of the principles described below may be applied in other contexts, and we describe some of these briefly toward the end of the paper.

The intent of this paper is not to advocate open source business models as the definitive way to undertake such a venture. Rather, it is to familiarize the reader with the underpinnings of what is becoming an increasingly prevalent approach to exploiting IP which warrants serious consideration as an alternative to more traditional methods – namely, a proprietary licensing model which emphasizes the treatment of underlying source code as a trade secret. It may well be that the particular circumstances of a business undertaking do not lend themselves to such models. However, it would be, in the author’s opinion, inadvisable not to give them due consideration.

Read more it.can presentation on open source

david johnston speech – not to be missed

Oddly enough there’s another presentation at the Toronto Board of Trade that isn’t in their events calendar. But that’s OK because you, loyal reader, can read it about it here and use the link above to register. Which I highly recommend, as the person who is speaking is none other than David Johnston, the President and Vice-Chancellor at Waterloo University.

I was trying to find a decent bio of him online but haven’t been able to – the one linked above to the WU site is OK but definitely does not do the man justice (because its too short and doesn’t really identify the relevance of all the roles he has played). In addition to being a brilliant academic, he literally wrote the book on securities regulation in Canada and played a key role in shaping Canada’s approach to the internet by chairing the Information Highway Advisory Council and the Blue Ribbon Panel on Smart Communities. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I had the good fortune of taking a course he instructed while he was teaching at McGill’s Faculty of Law. A remarkably good teacher and, surprisingly, with someone that has so much on his plate, very attentive to his students and always open, accessible and personable.

As you can probably tell from this post, I am extremely biased when it comes to Professor Johnston – I’m a big fan. The man is smart and is worth listening to. As an aside, I also understand that apparently a character in Erich Segal’s Love Story was based on him – a roommate or something if memory serves. Have no idea if true or not – never read the book myself. But there you go. Also have an interesting story about what he wears but will save that for another time.

Here’s the blurb:

Competitive advantage comes by engaging the brightest minds with the latest technology. Join David Johnston, President, University of Waterloo, as he shares ‘what’s in the water at Waterloo’ and illustrates how smart business leaders are successfully partnering with academia to stay on the forefront of the innovation curve.

At the Toronto Board of Trade, Downtown Centre, 1 First Canadian Place. Wednesday, March 28, 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Go see him.

Thanks to the always excellent Wellington Financial blog, where I noted mention of this event.

bell’s chief brand officer to speak

Again been a bit lackadaisical on events. Sorry.

Another in the Toronto Board of Trade’s excellent C-Series (as in CEO, CFO, CTO, COO…) tech series. This time its Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility and also Bell’s Chief Brand Officer. Needless to say, he’s someone worth listening to. The nub:

Mr. Oosterman will share his point-of-view about new technologies and how to use them to improve business. He will also speak about his experiences in the technology industry and ways technology can be used to increase profits.

At the Toronto Board of Trade – Downtown Centre in 1 First Canadian Place. Friday, March 30, 2007, 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Not that expensive, and you also get a chance to mingle with other tech folks.